The Adelaide home of Brian Parkes and family. Glass sphere by Tom Rowney, screenprint by Rover Thomas, chair by Yngve Ekstrom, vintage sideboard and coffee table by South Australian manufacturer Noblett. All photos – Lucy Feagins.
Brian and Imogen Parkes’ extensive Aboriginal art collection is dotted throughout the house. These works are by Arnhem Land artists, Gumatj Larrakitj, Jack Pascoe, Gulumbu Yunupingu, Emanuel Warrkidj and Debra Wurrkidj
Adelaide is a generous city in more ways than one. It’s full of wide open spaces and large residential blocks – and just 15 minutes from the CBD, you can be in the hills, surrounded by enormous trees and chirping birds. A rare and beautiful thing.
Brian Parkes and his young family have experienced the charms of this city first hand, after making the move from inner city Sydney to Adelaide just 18 months ago. Brian worked for many years at Sydney’s Object Gallery, but took up the role of CEO of the JamFactory (yes, them again) last year and made the big move to SA with his family in tow. I’m not sure if he and partner Imogen were exactly planning on growing roots here quite so soon, but when this perfect mid-century family home came up for sale in leafy Bellevue Heights, I guess they were easily convinced!
‘As former Sydney-siders we were surprised that we might actually be able to afford to buy what we saw as a dream house, amongst the gum trees with views of the sun setting over the water!’ says Brian. ‘We especially love the central courtyard and the separation of the house into distinct zones for kids and adults’. Indeed I must say this home does have all those wonderful and beautifully balanced qualities inherent in modernist residential architecture – perfect orientation, space efficiency and modest scale, and a strong connection to nature. Brian and Imogen’s two gorgeous kids Luca (3.5 yrs) and Mara (1) are also loving having a a little more space to grow!
When asked how his family have found the move interstate, Brian’s enthusiasm for his new surroundings is clear. ’We absolutely love it. After living in the middle of Surry Hills in Sydney for many years we were keen to try a different lifestyle. Imogen was a few months pregnant with Mara when we moved, so we were keen to find a place that would suit our changing needs. Adelaide has some great advantages for young families – the pace, space, accessibility of things (and some great kid-friendly beaches). We thoroughly enjoyed living in Sydney, but our quality of life, as a family of four, here in Adelaide is simply light-years beyond what it could have been in Sydney as we outgrew our little apartment’. Now that is what is what I call a glowing report!
Brian and Imogen have also been pleasantly surprised by the great sense of community in their local area – especially important for Imogen, with two energetic pre-school kids to wrangle! During my visit, as if on cue, a neighbour popped by to offload an immense plate of BBQ ribs(!!), left over from a party the night before! So somehow I ended up staying for dinner, eating the neighbour’s leftovers! (Delicious, by the way). And THEN Brian drove me home! Such hospitality! I guess it’s an Adelaide thing.
Massive thanks to Brian and Imogen for sharing their stunning home with us, and to the friendly neighbours for dinner!